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Praised Be: Caring for Creation

Faculty experts in theology, Catholic history, the pope, Catholic social teaching and other topics are available to discuss "Praised Be," the pope's encyclical on the environment.

The University of Dayton is home to experts from many disciplines who are available to comment about the papal encyclical on the environment as well as its potential influence and impact. Our religious studies scholars have expertise in Catholic history, Christian traditions, the Vatican, religion and culture, religion and politics, faith and science, and much more. Our scholars from other disciplines are examining the encyclical through the lenses of political science, philosophy, communication, sustainability, ecology and human rights.

The University of Dayton, founded by the Society of Mary, is among the nation's top Catholic universities and the largest private university in Ohio. Last year, the University became the first Catholic university to announce it would divest coal and fossil fuels from its $640 million investment portfolio.

Find bios, contact information and recent quotes from 11 experts from a variety of disciplines at Follow us on Twitter @udaytonnews.


"That Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical on the environment will be an important event for both the church and global civil society is abundantly clear in the very public jostling to disarm and discredit it before its release. Francis will exercise his teaching authority into a headwind provided by the profoundly skilled messaging professionals at various climate denial and neo-liberal think tanks. These will do anything to change the subject from the major theological arguments of the encyclical." — Vincent J. Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, (o) 937-229-4564, PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889,

"Divesting from fossil fuels is going to be very high priority for Catholic institutions. The University of Dayton's decision-making process was rooted in a clear sense of our mission and identity. We weren't starting from ground zero – our investment policy has long reflected our Catholic values. For the divestment decision, we needed a deep understanding of what Catholic social teaching had to say about care for the Earth and a healthy discussion about what fiduciary responsibility means to a Catholic institution." — Paul Benson, interim provost, professor of philosophy, (o) 937-229-2295, PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889,

"Pope Francis has created a new interactive genre of papal teaching — the papal interview. He talks about God and Jesus and the church in language ordinary people understand. The pope is such a ubiquitous part of the daily news cycle you’d think he was a Kardashian." — William Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology, PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889,


News and Communications Staff